190 Attwell Drive, Suite 650, Toronto ON M9W 6H8 416-498-1550 info@osborne-group.com

I took advantage of the pandemic-forced business disruption (we temporarily shut down our operations) and completed a project languishing in my garage for the last year. The family sailing pram – which needed a solid 45 days of my attention before we could launch – needed to be finished up and moved to the water!

So one would think business strategy reflection while cutting and epoxy-finishing wood for boats would be a mistake and they are right. I quickly realized that an uncluttered mind was needed to ensure my table saw cuts were accurate and without risk. I put the tools away for a couple of days and sat down and wrote my ideas about what I thought would be needed for my clients post COVID-19. That done I went back to the garage with a clear mind and renewed initiative to get the boat done. Exactly 40 days after I did this I put the last coat of varnish on her and opened my day timer to review my earlier notes while enjoying a well-deserved thirst quencher.

At first blush, my April notes were not all clear and lacked some perspective. Here is what I discovered:

  • I initially suggested a need to rebalance our reliance on international supply chains but didn’t really go far enough to describe the type of supplier diversity to reduce risk
  • I didn’t put any thought into the People strategies (much, I’m sure, to my colleagues’ chagrin) – location, working environment, tools and skill rebalance – all needed now
  • I have now added a strategic rethinking note on 3rd party merger opportunities to spread risk
  • I did have a point written to update the commercial customer profiles
  • A note on product commercialization – new product introduction was there but no specific timeline
  • Finally, while enjoying a long financial cost runway, I am thinking I underestimated the timeline to get back to sustainable revenue. Maybe I need to extend the period for next time. And yes there will be more disruptions so I need to plan for it.

So, boat done and garage finally clear, I have to get back to work and make sure the above points are addressed soon.